News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Beacham’s is Business of the Year

Owners Ed and Kathi Beacham moved to Sisters and opened their business in 1978 and have been here ever since. Together they have created a world of precision, beauty, and whimsy that is overseen by their 23-pound ginger cat Buddy, who accompanies them to work every day. Buddy can be found lounging in his fleece cat bed, waiting to greet his “groupies” who come in specifically to visit him.

As one of Sisters’ landmarks, the Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce named the clockmaker Business of the Year at its annual awards banquet.

Clocks of every shape, size, and design can be found in the shop, with prices ranging from $10 to the $125,000 German castle clock that was commissioned by King Frederick III of Prussia in 1870. It is a massive clock that came into the shop in several pieces and now stands stoutly at the bottom of the stairs that lead to the second-floor balcony.

In 1995, the Beachams built their current Victorian building on the corner of West Hood Avenue and South Oak Street. Inside the shop, from the second-floor balcony, visitors can see the workings of the beautiful stained-glass clock face located on the front of the building. It is also a good spot to survey the hundreds of clocks and hear them ticking and chiming.

Ed, who has spent his entire working life, 54 years, building 1,000 clocks, told the gathering, “Inspiration is the lifeblood of what we do.”

Ed’s eventual career received its first spark in his high school woodshop in Eagle Point, Oregon, when his teacher assigned him a grandfather clock project that he didn’t really want to make. He discovered that he had a talent for and loved precision woodworking. All these decades later, one entire wall on the first floor of the shop is devoted to awards and certificates, many from the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, earned by Ed for his world-class creations. People often assume that Ed must love clocks.

“I don’t really love clocks. What I love is fine craftsmanship,” he offered.

Beacham views clocks as pieces of art that are functional.

“I like precision woodworking,” he said, and it is reflected in his exquisite clock cases.

Kathi’s touch is evident throughout the shop and Ed readily credits her with the smooth operations. She has worked alongside Ed all of their 50 years of married life, running their retail shop and, at one time, doing clock repair. She now focuses on buying and selling inventory, setting up the displays, handling the shipping and receiving, keeping the books, dealing with customers, giving appraisals, and a myriad of other tasks, all while making Ed feel he is the most important person in the world.

“I like working with him. We’re a good team,” said Kathi.

In 1978, Ed joined the Sisters Volunteer Fire Department, and served as department chaplain and paramedic, retiring in 2003. He has also volunteered since 1980 as the pastor of the Chapel in the Pines in Camp Sherman and is currently Pastor Emeritus with the church. They live on five acres outside Sisters where they have raised miniature donkeys and black Angus cattle.

Ed describes their clock company as being “like a hospital with practicing privileges,” because of the four independent contractors also located in the shop. Two craftsmen repair and handcraft watches for customers, including custom timepieces. Two others perform clock repairs. Beacham is proud of the fact that the business helps support five families.


Reader Comments(0)

Rendered 06/12/2024 02:15